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DR_5_RiskGraph-1I’ve just announced my first training workshop for 2014

Moving From Vendor to Adviser…

This training is specifically designed for those selling high-tech solutions.

I don’t train people to sell vacuums, encyclopedia sets, or used cars.

Most sales training programs are generic – they are taught by people who have read some guy’s book, studied his materials, been through his train-the-trainer program, and are now getting paid to teach his class…so that he doesn’t have to…and they apply to any industry…

Is this really how you want to learn or refresh your selling skills?

Chances are this person has never sold anything…

Here are the dates: Feb 12-14 (all three days), 2 hrs each day!

Great for high-tech sales people, presales consultants, marketing professionals, and anyone involved in reseller or channel sales.

Watch my intro video and read more here (CLICK)

 

© 2014, David Stelzl

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lockWhat does the CIO really need to hear?  I’m sure you’ve thought about this question before. Anyone going in to meet with a CIO or other high-level executive has to ask this question – you only get one shot at establishing this relationship.  This was central to yesterday’s workshop session on selling security and reaching for that “Trusted Adviser” status.

Yesterday’s WSJ article, “CIOs in the Boardroom: Don’t Be a ‘One-Note Piano” (by By George L. Davis, Jr. and Chris Patrick) offers some insight into what these execs need and where you might be able to help.  Authors Davis and Patrick are right on from what I can tell – but CIOs can’t easily pull this off alone.  The article calls for CIOs to step up and be strategic when serving as a board member – but this also goes for meeting with board members.  Some of the key sound bites from this article might be helpful if you can’t access it here.

  • First, the title of the article is explained: “We once heard a board chairman call a CIO serving on his board a “one-note piano,” because the CIO repeated his same theme over and over.”  In other words, the CIO can’t be too focused – but rather must offer a board level of expertise or insight.
  • Some of the key subtitles offer insight into the content: Be a translator – leave the techno-babel behind and give clear concrete information; Be inclusive – meaning you’re not  there just to give your opinion, but rather to generate dialogue and gather ideas; Remember your role – a reminder here that the CIO does not sit on the board to make all of the technical decisions; Check your biases at the door – this is clear; Seek Feed Back – everyone in that room likely has valuable experience – draw from it.

Yesterday in our class we discussed the idea that CIOs are plentiful out there – and many are looking for more ways to stay relevant to their organization (in an effort to keep their jobs).  As stated in the above article, operationally focused CIOs are no longer in vogue.  Companies need someone who thinks about the business; marketing, selling, customer experience, business valuation, etc.  While the CIO does oversee the operational side of the house – networks, servers, up-time, etc., it’s not enough to stay in that world.  The board meeting is just one example where they are called to break out of the daily fire drills and be strategic.

On all sides they are going to need advisers to stay on  top.  So who is going to help them?  Who is going to give them the input they need to sound prepared when it comes time to report on the state of the business and where to head from here. When questions about applying new technologies like BYOD and cloud come up, how will the CIO answer?  IT is not going to give them this insight.  Even if they could, the prophet is never welcome in his own town – the CIO is not likely to go to IT for this.

So who?  It could be you…if you’re in sales or the consulting side of the business, selling IT solutions of some kind.  This requires more than a willingness.  It requires some study time, reading up on the trends, staying in tune with business, and taking the opportunity to talk with more business people.  If I could encourage you to do one thing today, it would be to prepare to talk to more business leaders, listen to what they are saying, and remember it.  Become the one person who is getting input from all kinds of business leaders – the portal of information and understanding that sits between all of the business leaders you work with.  People often ask me how I stay up on all of the trends, especially security – the answer is simple.  It’s actually easier for me than most because I am talking to sales and consulting professionals every day, and meeting with CIOS and CISOs on a regular basis through the educational events I do – and by getting input from all sides on a daily basis, I learn more than just about anyone.

© 2013, David Stelzl

 

 

From Vendor to Adviser Quote:

The discovery process is exactly the place to reposition you and your organization as advisers.  I’ve talked about various kinds of assessments; penetration tests, vulnerability studies, optimization studies, risk analysis, proof of concept, etc.  It doesn’t matter what you call it, the point is; you have access, so use it.  In the end, it’s marketing, not technology.  And, though the highly technical mind aims to turn this into a scientific analysis, you the sales person, know that if you fail to persuade the client to act, you have done a disservice to the client.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Walking along the Arabian Sea

Yesterday we completed day 2 of the Making Money with Security workshop – working on messaging.  Wherever I go, there seems to be a disconnect between marketing and sales…at some point in the value proposition development portion of my workshop, I ask someone to show me what they would deliver if given a high level appointment today to talk about security, and what their company can offer.  There is always a hesitation – no one wants to stand up and show me.  Why?  Usually it is because after a day and a half of discussion on messaging, they realize their presentation does not contain the elements of a great security approach.  Marketing has delivered a set of slides with talking points that are all about them and their product.  There is nothing new, nothing educational,…nothing amazing.  No call to action other than – let us know if we can help.  Nothing to cause the meeting attendees concern within their own business and approach.  Yet every day companies like RSA, Microsoft, the Income Tax division of India, etc. are defeated by cyber criminals.  There is an urgency; why can’t we demonstrate this in our messaging?

© 2011, David Stelzl

Taking yesterday’s movie star concepts a step further, let me share another analogy that is near and dear to my own profession.  As an active member of the National Speakers Association, I meet quarterly with some very successful speakers; people I consider to be at the top of the speaker industry.  Our topics vary as much as our style.  Some are humorists without any concrete message, another is a professional storyteller delivering tales of the south, many speak to sales audiences as I do, and others have a religious, motivational, or health angle.  But the one thing we all have in common is that we make our living speaking to audiences, sharing our experiences, and hoping to motivate people to change or providing encouragement in an area our audiences need expertise of help.

So what makes a speaker great?  I’m sure you’ve been to seminars, national sales meetings, or trade shows and have heard great speakers.  You’ve also probably heard people who don’t have the gift of speaking.  What’s the difference?  Well, I have come to believe that it’s not just in the DNA.  There’s a success formula.

When I first began my speaking career I needed a demo tape.  I was talking with some of the veterans of our NSA chapter and the president asked, “How many times have you given your primary keynote?”  I had given it ten times at most, although I had spoken to various audiences over my career.  He then encouraged me to wait.  “Wait until you have given this talk at least one hundred times.”  A hundred times; I couldn’t image waiting that long.  I needed it now.  But he assured me I would be sorry.

Months later, a former World Champion Toastmaster humorist came to address our group.  He talked about how he had entered the speaking industry and then he played video clips of himself from his early days of speaking.  His first clip was from a comedy club about twenty years ago.  It was awful. In fact, it was so bad, I was embarrassed for him as I watched it, and felt very uncomfortable sitting there with him in the room.  I don’t think I have ever seen such a bad comedian.  Nothing was funny, and it turns out, his friends had put him up to this.  But that day, he determined to master the art of speaking!  Our guest continued through the morning, playing samples from fifteen years ago, ten years, five, two, and now.  It was amazing to see the transformation and to hear how, through coaching, practice, and self-recording, he had studied to improve his program.  He had become an expert, and he had achieved the number on position.

Well, despite the advice I received from our chapter president, I went ahead and had my demo tape made.  I was happy with it at the time, but a few years and several hundred speeches later, I was embarrassed to watch my own tape.  I now see what our chapter president meant.  It takes practice, and with practice and the right input, the talk becomes great. It’s not just DNA – it’s work.

Like the movie star, the speakers you really like, have practiced.  They’ve given the talk you just heard, hundreds of times.  The speakers you don’t like are probably not professional speakers, they probably did not have any coaching, and they probably speak infrequently.  Most of all, they have probably never had to sit through their own presentation.  Their lack of practice shows.

So you are in sales.  You give the same information over and over, but are you giving the same talk, and have you critiqued it, been coached on it, and put time into making the material great before going live?  Or do you just wing it when you get on stage.  Who do you want to be?  The movie star?  The great speaker?  Of the guy that encourages you to spend the meeting reading your email?

© 2011, David Stelzl